Abhishek Manu Singhvi quits as Congress spokesperson

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By Manju Shukla
Date  23 April 2012
With a controversial CD featuring Abhishek Manu Singhvi going viral on internet, the Congress leader, on Monday,resigned as Congress spokesperson and as chairperson of standing committee on law and justice.

Announcing his resignation, the Congress leader said, "I have decided to resign as Chairman, parliamentary standing committee on law, justice. Personnel and Grievances and have informed the Hon'ble Congress President Sonia Gandhi accordingly. I have also decided not to brief the press."

Singhvi in a statement said, "I have done this only to prevent even the slightest possible Parliamentary disruption regarding the purported CDs being circulated about me. Since I am a disciplined party soldier, I did not think it fit to subject the party to any inconvenience on this account. All allegations are patently baseless and false."

Defending himself, he said, "I wish to categorically state that canards and baseless allegations are being spread about alleged inappropriate conversation in the CD. People inimically opposed to me, who have assiduouslyspent over 10 days hearing, seeing, amplifying and distilling the CD have found no vestige of any reference, not even remotely, to any illegality, corrupt practice, or wrongdoing. Specifically, some sections of the print and visual media are spreading a falsehood simply by repetition and hearsay that there is reference in the CD to the promise of any post. No one has heard any such reference in the CD. There
is none simply because it does not exist. It is pure
imagination, wishful thinking and sensationalism," he said.

Singhvi said the canard was spread simply to give the issue a public interest flavour since otherwise the contents of the CD, "assuming them to be true, (which they certainly are not), would disclose only something private and consensual giving a cause of action only to aggrieved family members (who have stood completely by me) and to no one else".

Responding to his resignation, Arun Jaitley said that BJP will seek clarification in the Parliament.

The clip allegedly features the senior advocate in sexual acts, around 13 minutes long, and was posted on YouTube on Friday and has since got over 9,000 views and several comments. It has been posted by a person identifying himself as Laddi Rana.

Singhvi acquired high profile after the committee headed by him came out with a report on the Lokpal last year on whose recommendation the government brought a legislation on the issue.

Singhvi said it was lamentable that such canards were being spread about a CD, which has, in fact, been accepted thrice over to be 'fabricated and morphed'.

"The driver's disclosure statement to the police, his detailed written statement (i.e. written pleading) in the high court and his oral statement recorded on oath physically in the presence of the judge, all explain how and why he created this fabrication.

"A reputed media house, which was co-defendant in the suit also recorded a consent statement based on the statement of the author of the CD i.e. the driver. A permanent final decree of injunction has been passed over five days ago," he said.

Singhvi said it was noteworthy that the driver's threatening and blackmailing SMSes sent to his phone had been recorded in the last week of March followed by a detailed four-page police complaint filed as far back as March 29, a full 13 days before the alleged CDs first surfaced in the media.

"Either the CD is morphed or it is not. In either event it raises no public interest issues, yet evokes salacious private and prurient interest and contumacious internet violation of a flagrant kind.

"As a political or professional class, instead of gleefully watching, promoting or participating in a person's natural and understandable discomfitures, we must respect privacy issues," he said.

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